The Philippines has been hit by a major earthquake. Much of Asia is now on tsunami alert, with Indonesia at most immediate risk.
A 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit the coast of the Philippines on Friday, prompting a tsunami warning for the archipelago, Indonesia, Taiwan and Japan, geological agencies reported.
The US Geological Survey said the quake's epicenter was located at a depth of 34 kilometers (21 miles), 146 kilometers from the nearest island and hit at 8:47 p.m. (12:47 GMT).
The warning center added that any wave generated by the quake would most likely strike Indonesia first. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has issued a tsunami warning bulletin.
Memory of the impact of the 2004 tsunami in Asia, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths, is still raw. That particular catastrophe was prompted by an earthquake off the west coast of Sumatra, measuring over nine on the Richter scale.
sej/pfd (dpa, AFP, Reuters)